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Who Will Bob Nardelli Fail Next?

Stocks in this article: HD

Jefferies' Hogan says that the balance between what you need to present publicly as a CEO and what you need to do privately has been upset. He argues some CEOs spend more time making public appearances than running a business.

"We've clearly moved beyond the environment where celebrity CEOs work," said Hogan. "We're moving more to an environment where a CEO has a lower profile and a better finger on the pulse of the current business environment. That's what is appropriate."

Put Me In, Coach

And yet, despite failing to drastically improve Chrysler or Home Depot's position, Nardelli continues to be viewed by some as a hot commodity, an experienced leader, a man who can take on the role as turnaround expert.

Passed over as the successor for then-CEO Jack Welch at General Electric (GE), Nardelli famously received a phone call from Home Depot Chairman Ken Langone right after resigning. Only eight months after leaving the retailer, he was given to keys to run Chrysler. One has to wonder how long Nardelli will remain an adviser to Cerberus before another company picks up the telephone.

If analogies work best, Nardelli's journey isn't much unlike that of a sports manager or coach who gets recycled by several professional teams, yet doesn't have much success in the position. Think Wade Phillips, Dusty Baker, Norv Turner, Marty Schottenheimer, Rick Carlisle or Don Nelson.

Just as football fans are worried which team will hire Herm Edwards now, should we dare ask who will see value in Nardelli next?

"He's gone from diversified industrial to retail to autos. The only thing he hasn't touched is health care and technology," Nolte joked. "Maybe an airline."

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